As part of a preliminary injunction, Jeffrey “Jeff” Lowe and Lauren Lowe, a married couple and zookeepers profiled in the Netflix docuseries Tiger King, must turn over tiger cubs less than a year old as well as the mothers of those cubs to the United States government. This stems from the government’s ongoing lawsuit over alleged inhumane treatment of the pair’s animals.
“The Lowes have showed a shocking disregard for both the health and welfare of their animals, as well as the law,” said Acting Assistant Attorney General Jonathan D. Brightbill of the Justice Department’s Environment and Natural Resources Division. “We are gratified the court agrees and ordered Mr. Lowe to stop ignoring his obligations under the Animal Welfare Act and the Endangered Species Act.”
The federal government says the Lowes failed to give their animals proper care, including nutrition and veterinary attention.
Lowe appeared in Tiger King as a business partner-turned-adversary of Joseph Maldonado–Passage (a.k.a. Joe Exotic, and the “Tiger King” after whom the show is named). Maldonado-Passage is currently serving a prison sentence after a jury convicted him on allegations that, for one, he hired a hitman to attempt to kill his rival Carole Baskin.
Lowe had taken over Maldonado-Passage’s Oklahoma-based zoo, but that facility–the Greater Wynnewood Exotic Animal Park–closed in August. The federal government says that even though Lowe had given up his Animal Welfare Act license, he relocated the animals to a facility in the town of Thackerville and continued to exhibit them.
The Lowes’ attorney of record did not immediately respond to a Law&Crime request for comment.
You can read the court’s Friday opinion here:
[Screengrab via Netflix]
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